BEHIND THE DESK: Clarence River Cricket finals predictions

BEHIND THE DESK: GDSC Premier League semi-final predictions

 

MOOSE ELKERTON - Harwood remain the team to beat in finals cricket

HARWOOD has remained the standard bearers of the Clarence River Cricket Association Premier League for another season.

The boys from down river will head into their major semi-final clash with Brothers feeling the favourites and they have every right to do so.

They boast a batting line-up that makes other sides nervous and a bowling line-up who deceptively pull apart opposition attacks before they realise it.

The departure of Luke Harradine mid-season did raise a couple of questions of Harwood's chances but it has just given a chance for youngster Harrison Nicholson to strengthen his stranglehold on the opener's position.

With Doug Harris hitting form in the last round and the McMahon boys always baying to get into oppositions they are a tough unit to beat.

But if there was a side to stop the juggernaut it could be Brothers.

Coming off a tough night cricket loss Brothers will be looking to wash themselves of the past and push on with confidence against the Harwood attack.

Billy Kerr smashed his way to 160 in the final round of the regular season and the time at the crease should prove invaluable.

Jake Kroehnert is bowling better than ever and there is a high chance his brother Mitch could make an early return from injury in time for the clash.

Expect this game to go down to the wire.


BILL NORTH - Top four repeat of last season - but hoping results change

IT'S interesting to note the make-up for the first weekend of the 2015/16 GDSC Premier League semi-finals is exactly the same as last season.

From my perspective - as a Coutts Crossing player - I just hope it doesn't play out with the same results.

Once again we meet Tucabia Copmanhurst in the minor semi-final at Ellem Oval, while Harwood hosts Brothers in the major semi.

In last year's clash Matt Dougherty and Matt Blanch rocketed to a flying start in both the first and second innings. The partnerships proved decisive as Tucabia defended 185 by 22 runs in the first innings and took the game out of reach in the second.

They eventually progressed to the grand final but after making another good start were left ruing what could have been when the match was washed out, handing the honours to minor premiers Harwood.

Tucabia is not going into this year's finals series in the same shape form-wise, and their top order has missed the stabilising influence of Tim Bultitude this season.

But despite finishing fourth on the ladder, they can never be discounted as they still boast as much experience as any team with the likes of Matt Pigg, Chris Adamson, Andrew Buchanan and Bob McKenzie all proven big gamers while Brad Chard has arguably been the competition's best.



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